How did you come to be a writer?
That’s a whole story, but the gist of it is I attended the School of Writing (Utrecht School of the Arts), a long LONG time ago. Even before that, I always thought I’d be a writer, at least if my teenage diaries are to be believed. Once I’d finished art school, however, I was fairly certain I would NOT be a writer. Art school made me believe I wasn’t literary enough and didn’t have enough opinions on the intricacies of modern-day society.
Since I was really good at commercial writing and critiquing other people’s work, I became a copywriter and writing coach. I always wrote books on the side, but they were ‘just a hobby’. Then, about three years ago – I was on book four – I finally decided to follow my heart and write a fantasy novel. I’d always loved fantasy, especially the kind that bends your expectations: in its best form, I think fantasy can be a daring allegory for the world we live in and the problems we face.
I still don’t know what happened next. One thing that happened is I really liked the book I wrote. And all of a sudden that gave me the courage to say ‘screw this modest hobby nonsense, I’m going to become a REAL writer’. And I did. I am. Even though I’m currently still looking for representation, I’m a professional writer in the sense that I publish stories, have a game plan, and rearranged my life in order to make ample room for writing. I don’t know where it will take me, but I know it’s what I’m supposed to do. That’s all the direction I need.
Are you Dutch?
Yes, yes I am. I’ve always preferred writing in English, though – it just feels like the rhythm suits me better. In order to prevent awkward mistakes, I work with native (US) beta readers and editors. Luckily, they all seem to agree I’m doing alright. Should you want to hear my laughable spoken English, though, all you have to do is listen to the intro for one of my audio stories.
Who do you want to be as a writer?
I’d like to have Leigh Bardugo’s pizazz, V.E. Schwab’s prolificness, Ursula Le Guin’s psychological depth, and N.K. Jemisin’s rawness.
That’s not too much to ask, is it?
What are your other books before A Song Discordant like? I wrote three others in total – two are abonimable and should be killed with fire. Which is fine; they taught me how to write books. The third, most recent one before The Book Of Regret was pretty nice! But it’s not fantasy, and still not really written in a voice that feels like ‘mine’, so that one will probably stay in the drawer, too.
Do you have any more ideas for books lined up?
You betcha! After I finish this duology, I will start working on one of two ideas I have – whichever one feels like it needs to be written first. Both of those ideas are really high concept, so I won’t go into detail here, but I look forward to exploring them!
Will there be more books set in Thunya?
I’m not sure. My next two books after A Song Discordant will not be set in Thunya, but in a more abstract world parallel to our own. But you never know – I might return to the Thunyaverse! I’m really invested in the story of the Vanta, for example, especially The Sparrow and The Raven.
Stay tuned for updates on my work!
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Every month we discuss a hot topic in the fantasy genre, take a close-up look at the writing process from within, and discuss the lastest news (including audio stories). Come join us! Of course, I won’t use your address for anything shady.